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B-52 "replacement" from Airbus?

frank

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Over the last couple of years, I've seen mention of an Airbus design intended as some sort of replacement for the B-52. Or something like that. Anyone know of any other details?
 

Antonio

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Dear Friend,

You mean a European heavy bomber design to be flown by USAF?. Well it sounds almost unbelivable that USAF could rely in a foreign design for that role.

I imagine if that design existed could have been a derivative of Airbus airliner family in the same way Boeing based its Low-cost bomber proposal in the 767

Well I'm anxious to hear more about this Euro-bomber...
 

GTX

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Old topic, but I seem to recall seeing an artist's concept of an A340 bomber years ago. It was probably purely fictional, but would anyone still have a copy or know more?

Regards,

Greg
 

Jemiba

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Do you mean this "design". It' from the a now defunct amsat.waika9.com site
 

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Stargazer2006

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Allow me to translate this for the non-francophones here (who should be the vast majority, I believe):
"European Strategic Bomber based on an A340/600 frame
This 001 version features retractable canards for take-off and landing"

You can notice that it says European, not American, so I really wonder where that B-52 replacement thing came from. Another urban legend, maybe?
 

TomS

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Mistranslation and misinterpretation of remarks by Airbus and EADS senior officials back in early 2002, I suspect. It seems to run back to an article in Focus Nachrightmagazin

http://www.focus.de/finanzen/news/marktplatz-airbus-will-eigenen-bomber-bauen_aid_206527.html

Nach den Erfolgen im zivilen Bereich will Airbus nun am Markt für Militärflugzeuge kräftig mitmischen. Neben Transportern, Tankern und Aufklärungsflugzeugen hat der europäische Hersteller die veraltete Bomberflotte des Westens im Visier. „Wir planen ein Konkurrenzmodell zum amerikanischen B52-Bomber“, sagt Konzernchef Noel Forgeard. Die achtstrahlige Maschine, die in Zeiten des Kalten Krieges entwickelt wurde, kam auch in Afghanistan zum Einsatz. Sie fliegt 16 000 Kilometer weit und kann bis zu 50 Bomben mit jeweils über 200 Kilogramm Gewicht abwerfen.

Noch hat Airbus das Projekt „B52“ nicht offiziell gestartet. Deutsche Branchenkenner sind sich sicher, dass das multinationale Unternehmen das Geschäft mit einem Nachfolgemodell nicht allein den US-Herstellern überlässt. Schon heute bietet Airbus Industrie umgebaute Zivilmaschinen als fliegende Tanker an. Internationale Wehrexperten haben in den vergangenen Wochen mehrfach gefordert, dass das westliche Bündnis auch in Zukunft auf strategische Langstreckenbomber nicht verzichten dürfe.
My German is a bit rusty, but I'd translate this more or less as follows (with help from Google):

After success in the civilian field, Airbus is now hoping to push into the market for military aircraft. Besides transports, tankers and reconnaissance aircraft, the European manufacturer has the outdated Western bomber fleet in their sights. "We are planning a competing model to the American B52 bombers," says CEO Noel Forgeard. The aging machine, which was developed during the Cold War, was also used in Afghanistan. It flies 16,000 miles and can carry up to 50 bombs, each weighing more than 200 kilograms.

Still, Airbus has not officially launched a "B52" project. German industry experts are confident that the multinational business will not leave a successor model only to U.S. manufacturers. Today Airbus Industrie has rebuilt machines as civil airborne tankers. International defense experts have in recent weeks on several occasions requested that the Western alliance not ignore the future of long-haul strategic bombers.
 

AeroFranz

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Jemiba said:
Do you mean this "design". It' from the a now defunct amsat.waika9.com site
It takes some imagination to see an A340 in there ??? maybe the fin is common...
 

Stargazer2006

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Thanks Tom for clarifying this matter! Typically the kind of example that shows the limits of approximate translation...
 

Triton

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Flight Global broke the story on October 17, 2007 that the US Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) was looking at the Airbus A380 as a possible cargo freighter, possibly replacing the Lockheed C-5A, and a replacement for military aircraft based on the Boeing 747-200, most notably the presidential fleet. The article speculates that the US Navy might look at the A380 as a replacement for the E-4 Looking Glass.

On January 28, 2009, EADS announced that it would not bid for replacement aircraft for the presidential fleet.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/10/17/218681/exclusive-us-considers-airbus-a380-as-air-force-one-and-potentially-a-c-5-replacement.html

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/28/airbus_out_of_air_force_one/

Supposedly, the electronic version of Jane's All the World's Aircraft, dated June 18, 2007, reported that EADS was working on developing a military version of the A380 known as the A380 MRTB (multi-role transport bomber) with an envisioned payload of 150 m/tons. I cannot verify this since the current Jane's entry for the A380 does not mention an A380 MRTB.

I have also heard that the French magazine Air & Cosmos ran an article about a military version of the A380 also known as the A380 MRTB (multi-role transport bomber) as an April Fool's Joke in April 2005.

The french weekly av-mag came up with a pretty looking realistic one.

They "revealed" the french airforce agreed to order the A380 MRTB. Based on the A380F, the MultiRoleTransportBomber double decker could carry either
- 150 tons/300,000 lbs of freight over 10,000 km/5,400 mls, or
- 100 tons/200,000 lbs over 16,000 km/8,640 mls or
- 600 fully equiped soldiers, whose seats were to be accomodated on pallets loadable thru the side cargo doors
For the bomber and tanker roles, the specially modified freight holds could accomodate
-a total 8 revolving barrels with 8 Scalp cruise missiles each or
-removable tanks and assorted flying boom.
In both cases, some of the transport capabilities could be retained with the possibilities to airlift support technical crews and sets of parts the way are done today with KC.10 Extenders.
What vented the prank
- the artist illustrations in the cover inset and in content renders a 3 tone-camouflaged 380, whereas the french airforce also goes Nato-Grey-low viz
- some evocative last names for people behind the project.
http://forums.jetphotos.net/archive/index.php/t-21820.html

Perhaps these stories and the April Fool's Joke served as the source for yet another story, or speculation, that the US Air Force was looking at the A380 as a bomber replacement for the B-52.
 

Jemiba

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"It takes some imagination to see an A340 in there "

Really, you're quite right ! ;D

But the description says ".. basè dur une celleule de A340/600 ..", meaning to
my opinion : based on the fuselage of the A 340/600. And one circular fuselage
is more or less looking like another ...
 

pathology_doc

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Interesting wing design - are the inner control surfaces ailerons (flaperons?) with elevators on the rearmost extremities of the wing? Or is it flaps forward inner/elevons rear outer? Note the terminal trailing edge nature of the outer control surfaces, similar to the P1B/Lightning.

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say not just the fuselage but the engines might be common too. Which reminds me: what does an IR missile see when it looks at a high-bypass-ratio airliner turbofan? What are the design/performance implications for large multi-engine bombers of the current run of fuel-efficient high-bypass turbofans in the 100,000lb thrust class? Could such an engine have afterburning added? Performance could be quite awesome. (Fuel consumption would be horrendous!)
 

Jemiba

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Two more pictures I've saved from the mentioned site once ago.
 

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Stargazer2006

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I do not know about this specific case, but you have to be aware that April Fool once was a pretty established tradition in some French aviation magazines, notably Le Fana. They no longer do it because it would make it harder for them to remain credible on a global scale, which they pretty much are... But I remember the time as a kid when my dad would laugh his ass off over the forgotten Klagenfürt Kf-??? prototype or the Exo-Seven T-6 floatplane version...

EDIT: forgot the word "French"... (excuse my French...)
 

GTX

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Jemiba said:
Do you mean this "design". It' from the a now defunct amsat.waika9.com site
No - the one I'm thinking of actually did look like a A340. It was still subsonic and kept the same wing etc as the conventional A-340. In essence once could almost say it was what the P-8A is to the 737 - i.e. it still looked like the A340 but was different. For instance, I seem to recall it having 2 weapons bays.

Regards,

Greg
 

PMN1

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GTX said:
Old topic, but I seem to recall seeing an artist's concept of an A340 bomber years ago. It was probably purely fictional, but would anyone still have a copy or know more?

Regards,

Greg
Pahh, Vickers had already been there with the VC-10 - 64 x 1,000lb bombs in 8 eternal panniers.........
 

Vahe Demirjian

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It's possible that an A340 bomber derivative could have been intended as a successor to the Dassault Mirage IV, so the thread title could be changed. In any case, no West European country has a strategic bomber in the wings.
 
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